WELLAND – Niagara Regional Council has approved a by-law making it mandatory to wear a face-covering or nonmedical mask in enclosed public places. All people ages five and older are subject to the mandatory mask by-law; however, people who are unable to wear face-coverings due to health or disability are exempt.
The new mandatory mask by-law includes all regional and municipal public transit — excluding all transit drivers who are protected by a plexiglass barrier—and also includes municipal buildings.
The by-law comes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 31, 2020, and will remain in effect until Oct. 1, 2020, unless extended by Regional Council.
The by-law applies to the following enclosed indoor places:
• Retail stores where goods and services are sold to customers
• Businesses that primarily sell food including restaurants
• Supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries and convenience stores
•Churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and other places of worship, except during a religious rite or ceremony that is incompatible with the face being covered
• Shopping malls or similar structures which contain multiple places of business
• Lobby areas of commercial buildings
• Common areas of hotels and motels and other short term accommodations, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities but does not include the common areas of residential apartment buildings or condominiums
• Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
• Fitness centres, gyms, other recreational and sports facilities and clubhouses
• Arcades and other amusement facilities
• Premises utilized as an open house, presentation centres or other facilities for real-estate purposes
• Museums, galleries, historic sites and similar attractions
• Businesses providing personal care services
• Banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums and other event spaces
• Public transit operated by the Niagara Region and local area municipalities
• Municipal buildings
Under the by-law, all businesses operating in Niagara must have a policy regarding the wearing of face-coverings that prevent people from entering without a mask. Additionally, businesses must ensure that staff receive training in the requirements of the policy and provide hand sanitizer at all public entrances.
The by-law exempts indoor locations that already have policies in place, or are subject to other provincial legislation or guidelines. The following enclosed indoor public spaces are exempted:
• Daycares, schools, post-secondary institutions and other facilities used solely for educational purposes
• Hospitals, independent health facilities and offices of regulated health professionals
• Buildings and services owned or operated by the Province of Ontario or the Federal Government of Canada
• An indoor area of a building that is accessible only to employees
• Portions of buildings that are being used for the purpose of providing day camps for children or for the training of amateur or professional athletes
For more information on the new mask by-law visit, http://www.niagararegion.ca/covid19. For more information on Welland Recovery – Moving Beyond COVID, visit welland.ca.
(Source: City of Welland news release)